Los Alamos High School Science Bowl Team from left, Katherine Wang (Senior), Wilbur Wang (Freshman), Alex Swart (Junior), Willie Zhao (Junior), Alex Wang (Junior-graduating early) and Kathy Boerigter (Team Advisor.) Courtesy/Yi-Ming Wang
U.S. Education Secretary Ernest Moniz announced on Monday that a team of students from Los Alamos High School (LAHS) will join with other teams from around the nation at the 2014 National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C.
“The National Science Bowl challenges students to excel and heightens their interest in fields vital to America’s continued scientific advancement,” Moniz said. “Congratulations to these students for advancing to the National Finals. I wish them the best of luck.”
LAHS chemistry teacher and team advisor Kathy Boerigter describes her team as “amazing.”
“They studied like crazy and practiced for weeks,” Boerigter said. “And wouldn’t you know it they had to beat their arch rival Albuquerque Academy to advance to nationals.”
Science Bowl teams compete in a series of head-to-head competitions against other school districts in the region. Teams are questioned in a rapid recall format about earth, space, energy, physics, chemistry, biology and math.
During the course of the competition, the Los Alamos team faced off against teams from Ruidoso and Onate before dropping a very narrow contest to Albuquerque Academy. Los Alamos fought its way through the Loser’s Bracket to again face Albuquerque Academy in the final round.
Boerigter described the day: “Once we started winning, we won everything. We beat teams soundly.”
But, because of the earlier loss to Academy, Los Alamos had to beat Academy twice in the championship round.
“Every question was exciting,” Boerigter said. “You could feel the tension. We were really happy to have won and are very proud to represent Los Alamos in the National Science Bowl Finals.”
In addition to New Mexico, 10 other states qualified regional winners that will advance to nationals on Saturday. Regional winners advance to Washington, D.C. to the National Finals April 24-28.